I am super worried about my ivy plant. I bought it a few weeks ago and it looks like is already dying!

The leaves have these brownish, almost black, areas all over the plant, especially the upper part. It also had white powder all over it, which I suppose was powdery mildew, which seems to have decreased.

I have been removing the damaged leaves and spraying a solution of bicarbonate of soda, with liquid soap and water (which are the white marks on the leaves).

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New leaves keep showing these black areas, get weak, dry out and fall off.

Why is this happening and how do I prevent or cure it?

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    How often and how much do you water the plant? Is it outdoors or indoors? Did you repot it from a smaller pot and if so, how much smaller was the original pot than the one its in now?
    – Bamboo
    May 21, 2020 at 21:59
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    Hi, it is indoors, I try to water when the soil is dry. I reported it from smaller pot also to get rid of the soil since I was searching and the symptoms it had appeared to be caused by fungus. I am very worried is not getting better and and the leaves keep appearing brown/dark and dried as well as losing more a more leaves. I have got neem oil, I haven't use it yet, will this help? I will need to first know what is going on in order to treat it. I will appreciate any help. Thank you.
    – Tatiana
    May 26, 2020 at 11:58
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    @Tatiana Have you tried giving it fertilizer? I know that sometimes helps plants to be strong enough to overcome problems (although it can be a source of problems in and of itself, too). I get the feeling nitrogen might be helpful here. If you haven't fertilized it, I might recommend doing so every two weeks for about four or five fertilizations. Oct 19, 2021 at 7:03

1 Answer 1


I asked about repotting because the pot it's currently in looks rather large for the size of plant. If it had white powder over the leaves a while back, that does sound like powdery mildew, but that can be caused by dryness at the root.

It's hard to tell what's going on, between the white deposits and general sickly appearance, but inspect the stems thoroughly - I think I can see a little black bump on one of them, and it may be there is a scale infestation - on the leaves, these may form white deposits. Check the back of the leaves too, with a magnifying glass if necessary.

If you find scale, spray the whole plant thoroughly with neem oil spray, including under the leaves. Information here on scale and other pest problems with Ivy https://homeguides.sfgate.com/bug-infestation-ivy-plant-69213.html

The other thing is to get the watering right - if the rootball of the plant is much smaller than the soil surrounding it, it's quite difficult to keep the roots moist. Water when the surface of the soil feels just about dry to the touch, water thoroughly and allow excess water to drain away freely from the base of the pot. Empty the outer tray of the pot after 30 minutes, and again 30 minutes later if more water has collected, so the plant is not left sitting in water.

You might also consider cutting back the topgrowth by a third, to just above a leaf on each stem. This should trigger new growth from the roots over time, and will encourage the plant to bush out more.

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